JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Officials with the Jonesboro Fire Department and volunteers with the Philadelphia and Brookland Fire Departments have extinguished a large grass fire in north Jonesboro.
According to Brett Winstead, the fire began shortly before 2:00 Sunday afternoon at 2014 Conway Lane. Winstead said a resident was burning brush, but it got out of control quickly.
"We got called to a grass fire turned into a field fire. When we got here, someone was burning brush on Conway. It's got away from them and it's now in a large unpopulated area. Probably about 100 acres burning," said Winstead.
Winstead said fighting a grass fire is much different than battling a residential fire. He said firefighters get tired quickly since they walk long distances with heavy equipment on their backs.
No one was injured in the blaze; however, Winstead said the man who started the fire was taken to the hospital.
Winstead told Region 8 News more than 80 acres of land were torched in the blaze on a gusty Sunday.
"They're (winds) moving rapidly. It's dangerous for us. We really had to watch our guys to make sure they're not getting trapped by the flames. They're moving probably at 20-25 miles an hour across the field," said Winstead.
Craighead County is under a burn ban, as well as several other counties throughout Region 8. For a list of counties under a burn ban, click here.
"All I know is my wife came inside the house and I was watching TV, and said the field is on fire and we need to call 911 so at that time I got up, grabbed my phone, and ran outside, she was already dialing 911. We started dragging hoses. There was about 15 foot high flames that were coming towards our house," said Rick Lewis, who lives on Conway Lane. "Even with all the green that's in this field, it was coming fast underneath. You could hear it popping and cracking and you'd see smoke coming up through the green, then all of the sudden you'd see a flame just belch up out of it."
Lewis said he saw flames coming from his neighbors when he began watering a fence around his back yard.
"Something was going on. There was fire over by their house and they were out with hoses so we just grabbed hoses and called the fire department," said Lewis. "I'm out here in the country and I burn from time to time but I know now is not the time. it's too dry and too windy so I hope for other people see that you just need to hold off until we get some rain."